There are two distinct paths to proper weight management. One is to be a ?plower? who mows down large quantities of nutritious unprocessed food, never skipping meals or watching portion size. The other way is through force ? exercising extremely hard and eating so little that the body cannot slow down its metabolism enough to keep body weight from dropping. One of these routes is fully sustainable and keeps the physical/mental/emotional body balanced, strong, resistant to both chronic and infectious disease, etc. The other route is a one-way ticket to bone and hair loss, physical injury, a compromised immune system and the fun that comes along with it, erratic moods, and a damaged metabolism resulting in the eventual inability to eat normal amounts of food without blowing up like a balloon.
And before we go any further, let me mention that the title of this edition is a takeoff of the book entitled Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins. It’s a book, not about nutrition or anything, but about how you can push on someone’s outstretched arm to solve all the mysteries of the universe. You can rate anything on a scale of 1-1000! His book rates out at an 880, putting it ahead of most of the spiritual texts ever written. He also mentions that Wal-Mart’s success is due to the fact that it is more morally aligned with God. Hawkins, a morally elite ninja himself, claims to have come around a corner one time, and upon seeing a gang fight his radiant God-like presence caused those mf?n gangstaz to break out in laughter. Oh snap! Hawkins don’t play dat! It is irrefutably the worst book ever printed in the English language. For more plausible theories on the mysteries of the universe, I highly recommend The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Okay, where were we (author pauses, wipes tears of laughter out of eyes)? Oh yeah, plower vs. force.
If you are genuinely interested, not in looking hot by next Tuesday and screw the rest, but in finding a way to properly nourish yourself in a way that’s sustainable, effortless in the sense that you will no longer be at war with your body, and provides you with overall vitality and a healthy bodyweight, then consider doing these things:
? Eat a ginormous (that’s gigantic and enormous combined) breakfast. One of the best ways to gain weight eating normal amounts of food or not be able to lose an ounce eating nothing is to skip breakfast.
? Eat three meals per day, whether you are hungry at meal time or not. A bagel or Caesar salad is not a meal.Think of what grandma would have served: a starch, a vegetable cooked with a hunk of fat, meat, soup, bread and butter, and a huge glass of milk. And she would force every bite down your throat.
It amazes me how ingrained it is in people’s minds that eating less is the way to health and weight loss. I can understand why this is so, but it is so annoying to see people feel the effects of eating real food and then turn around and use that inappropriately. Typical example?
Sum Yung?Gal: I’m hardly eating anything, but I still am gaining weight. I’m hungry all the time and I just can’t find the energy to exercise.
Me: Try eating until you are full three times per day without restricting anything.
Sum Yung Gal: Wow, it’s only been a week and I can really feel the difference! And I’m never hungry. My appetite is seriously gone. I feel like I can go all day without food.
It’s true, eating’satisfying food, will keep you stable for hours, energize you, and take away that gnawing appetite that plagues the undernourished (as well as help overcome addictions, stabilize emotions, and overcome chronic illnesses). So yes, you can practically go all day without food when you’ve been feeding yourself well. You can also stick your finger in your butt, but neither will get you closer to good health or effortless weight management.
When you put your hand in boiling water, you feel that it is hot and know that it’s not good for your hand. Reducing calories or exercising fanatically; however, is different. When you suddenly exercise more and eat less, you lose weight. It seems simple. I just have to eat less and exercise more! The reason this happens is because your intake and exertion are not aligned with your metabolism. But the body works as hard as it can to align the metabolism with your intake and exertion, meanwhile decreasing energy levels and increasing appetite. It’s the body’s way of saying, ?Hey stupid, what are you doing? You are f?n killing me! Because this is how metabolism works, some people eat like horses and can’t gain weight and others eat very little and can’t lose weight. In almost all cases, it is a?metabolic phemonenon. And metabolism, when it comes to weight management, is a very important factor.
This is why what I recommend for weight management (eat more, don’t exercise to exhaustion) is so counterintuitive for so many people, because they’ve experienced gaining weight when eating a lot and not exercising, and losing weight when exercising and eating very little. This feedback is just plain misunderstood, and many people, even though they may maintain a healthy bodyweight for most of their lives, go to war with their bodies every day to achieve that. That is ?force,? and it is harmful and totally unnecessary. Plus, it’s a just plain sucky way to live your life, and you miss out completely on the beauty of communion with food.
I really, really hope you’re right! In month one right now. Fingers crossed! I suspect I have a pseudohypoglycemia due to autonomic dysfunction (associated with a condition I have), so don’t know if that’ll mess it up or not. Makes me very hungry and I eat a ton already. Only one way to find out…
Andie for 180 Model! There I said it. HATE that scale holding beyotch there.
God, you’re funny.
Well, so far this hasn’t worked for me. I have GAINED weight and I have to LOSE it! I have OA in my rt knee and ankle have OI (the minor type) and don’t need DM and other diseases associated with overweight. Eating lots isn’t working for me and I have tried it for a long period since early last year. I don’t need to maintain weight. I think it’s back to what did work from me years ago and I only abandoned this because at the time my husband was ill and dying and when he passed I left my healthing eating and exercise (5’7, 120#s) and ate junk from grief and gained about 100#s. That way was the bodybuilder type diet and wts 3-4x/wk and daily aerobics. When I was younger, I studied and trained in ballet for 15 yrs and that included many hours a day of strenuous ballet classes and rehearsals and I had no wt problem. This overfeeding business is NOT for me. It still comes down to eat the way or try a diet that works for YOUR body. Often science doesn’t apply to all. As a nurse, I’ve seen that in many different aspects.
It’s more a matter of perspective. For example, all that rigorous training could have primed the body for inevitable fat storage. Obviously you are not 15 anymore either, and the amount of stress your system can withstand is much less.
Eating junk out of grief is also totally different than eating three squares a day for the purpose of raising metabolic rate.
Going back to bodybuilder nutrition and daily strenuous exercise isn’t totally unrealistic if it:
2) You can sustain it
But I think you’re likely to hit a plateau after a couple months, notice some metabolic downregulation, and have trouble keeping at it – only to rebound back.
Maybe, maybe not. But I see people all the time thinking that if they just do “X” they’ll lose the weight and keep it off, and usually it’s a reliable way to increase body fatness after a full cycle of this process has been completed.
Anyway, thanks for sharing. That’s my thoughts on what you had to share.
Hey Matt – a little off topic – but wanted to see about the “pay what you can” to get some phone or skype help from you. Do I just ordered it on your site and then you email me about a time to schedule a chat? Please let me know or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Yes, read this page and it will tell you what you need to know about how the process works. http://180degreehealth.com/2011/10/get-help
I don’t want to be offensive, but what are you eating when you eat your three meals? Matt is completely right in what he said about your body being primed for inevitable fat storage as well. But possibly, look into what you’re eating. Let Matt know, I’m sure he can suggest foods that will be filling for you. I was an athlete as well so I know how body and activity changes years later can affect you. I still lift and eat like this. I just know what to eat. I’m always energetic and rarely hungry (unless it’s that metabolism is fired up type of hungry I love and I know my body is a fuel burning machine. You can do this. Just may take some tweaking. I wish you the best, don’t give up.
What do you have against anal penetration? -___-
How awesome that you wrote this in 2007. Did you really say this back then? Cause I am sure I read this post, but can’t believe I’ve been around this page for 6 years. Wow. I’m finally tracking my food – turns out I eat 2000-2500 calories in a typical day. 2000 is when I’m too busy to get a snack, or if I miss a meal. I am trying now to reach the 2500 consistently.
I have seen with my clients that weight often has a psychological component, such that no matter what one does, if the weight serves a psychological function (ie security blanket bcs cannot self-soothe, or buffer for social contact bcs of inability to assert healthy boundaries), it will either not come off, or not stay off. Conscious efforts to be thin will be thwarted by the subconscious need for stasis. Like all change, it’s easy to say “I want that”, but the reality of having it can be quite another animal altogether. This mind-body connection: the ability to eat in the ways Matt suggests (listen to the body, don’t worry about food too much, don’t expect instant results or perfection) to achieve optimal physical health, requires a certain level of mental health. Tricky bcs physical health also impacts mental health. Key question for rooting out barriers: what would I lose if I gave up this_______? (fill in the blank: weight, health problem, other problem…). Despite the way the medical and nutrition worlds carve out and treat physical human beingness as a separate part from mental and spiritual, I have found that they cannot be effectively treated as separate in the real world.
Do you believe in leaky gut? What about people with hashimotos, or hypothyroid – should they eat all that they want – except Gluten? Why does all of the “research” say that sugar and dairy will aggravate leaky gut?
It’s all so confusing.
Yes, in fact I was just writing about this, and this quote from Ancel Keys was the most recent thing I have copied before reading your comment…
?There is reason to believe that the epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal tract becomes more permeable to microorganisms in severe undernutrition. The morphological changes in the intestinal tract would strongly suggest this.
Gluten, dairy, sugar or not – My money is on restoring proper anabolism and metabolic rate, protein turnover, etc. in patching up the gut.